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NFL Quarterback Carson Palmer Drafted to Lead Camp Rainbow Gold Effort
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Sunday, April 24, 2022
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Former NFL quarterback and 2002 Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer has been drafted as the  spokesperson for Camp Rainbow Gold’s capital campaign to “Heal Idaho.”

Palmer a resident of Sun Valley, is serving on behalf of a campaign to build Hidden Paradise, Idaho’s first medical camp, near Fairfield.

“In my career, I’ve been surrounded by men who many characterize as some of the toughest ‘heroes’ on earth,” said Palmer. “These children have gone through years of chemotherapy, surgeries, radiation or live with other medical challenges—they are the true heroes. They are the ones I sit in awe of. And I’m determined to do what I can to make up for the time they’ve lost getting to just be kids.”

Palmer won the Heisman Trophy at USC. The first pick in the 2003 NFL draft, the Fresno, Calif., native  went on to play National Football League ball for 15 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals. He was named to three pro Bowls and helped the Bengals and Cardinals reach the playoffs before retiring in 2017 due to injuries.

Palmer fell in love with Idaho as a child during summer vacations. One of his sons received treatment at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise for health issues that turned out not to be cancer. Palmer used to visit the children’s hospital in Phoenix while he played for Arizona.

Camp Rainbow Gold is building a medical camp on 172 acres to serve young campers with chancer. The organization also envisions the camp being made available to children with other medical challenges, such as diabetes.

The organization has raised nearly $9 million to remodel existing structures and build an on-site health center, 12 ADA-compliant cabins, shower houses, three bike trails and a rope course.

Another $7 million needs to be raised to provide updated infrastructure and build a main lodge. Having Palmer on Camp Rainbow Gold’s team will rally support as the organization pursues its vision, said Camp Rainbow Gold CEO and Executive Director Elizabeth Lizberg.

“We’ve made incredible strides at Hidden Paradise,” she added. “Two years ahead of schedule we are welcoming 10 camps to the property this summer—five of them from other nonprofit organizations. And we are just getting started.”

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